Tens of thousands line up for red-shirt blood collection drive (gallery)

Tens of thousands line up for red-shirt blood collection drive (gallery)
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Tens of thousands of anti-government red-shirt protestors yesterday (March 16) lined up to donate blood on the fourth day of street rallies in Bangkok.

Red-shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikua
John Le Fevre

Organisers of the rally, which comprise multiple groups including supporters of disgraced fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, called for the supporters to donate blood as a symbolic sacrifice for democracy.

Organisers had aimed to collect “one million cubic centimetres” of blood, or about 1,000 litres (264 gal), which they then carried in a procession to the gates of Government House where some of it was spilled on the ground.

The remainder of the blood, according to protest leaders, will be taken to the home of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

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Almost immediately after the blood was poured a team of medical cleanup personnel provided by the government wearing protective clothing hosed down and disinfected the site.

Nattawut Saikua, one of the protest leaders, said “when Abhisit (Prime Minister Vejjajiva) works in his office, he will be reminded that he is sitting on the people’s blood”.

Some 150,000 red-shirt protestors converged on the Thai capital on Sunday, with many circumventing road blocks and police and military checks at bus and train stations and travelling by boat down the Chao Phraya River from Ayutthaya.

Speaking to foreign media after the blood pouring ceremony government spokesman, Panitan Watanayagorn, said “if they want to throw it and have a photo op and have us clean it up later, I think it’s fine”.

The photos below are from activities throughout the day.

 

Red-shirt blood collection slide gallery

 

 

Photos John Le Fevre

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John Le Fevre is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer and editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me

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